The clouds were thick and gray, swollen cotton balls on a tile counter, drenched sheep in a blue pasture. The sky darkened and I looked up hopeful. We haven’t seen rain in months. No smattering of drops – nothing to replenish the dwindling wells.

It wasn’t the first night the sky hinted. She’d teased before. Assembled all the players for a thunderous rainstorm and then slunk away to sparkling stars unobstructed by even a sprinkle of moisture. But last night…last night my skyward glances were rewarded with first isolated and then competing drops of cool rain dancing on a north blowing wind.

I stood, first in the midst of the misting, and later in the shelter of the front porch…holding my arms against the unfamiliar coolness of the breeze watching the rain.

Today, puddles dotted the usually dusty roads – orange mud reflecting a still gray sky. Leo invited me to lunch and we ate a meal of dry rice and fried dried fish under a palava hut (a thatched roof structure so named because palava means problems and traditionally that is where peole in the villages would go to solve problems). The owner came out to chat and we exchanged names.

Tinapu…it is raining….

“I was born in August in the middle of the rainy season. It was raining so hard they caught buckets and buckets of water that day. My mother couldn’t make it out of the house to go the hospital so she had me right there in the house. So I am Tinapu.”

“We had Tinapu last night,” I said smiling.

“Yes. Yes we did,” she smiled back.

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